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April 20, 2015 at 5:00 PM - Work Session and Regular Meeting of the Board of Education

I. Listening Session - At Maintenance Facility
II. Call To Order - Work Session
III. Board Work Session
III.A. High School Construction Site Tour
Discussion:  The Board of Education took a tour of the new High School construction site.
III.B. Maintenance Facility Presentation at ESU 7/CPS Student Center
Discussion:  Director of Building and Grounds Mike Grutsch said the routine maintenance doesn't change from year to year. He said there has been a lot of work done at Duncan over the winter. There are several projects the maintenance department will be working on this summer. He said right now mulch is used for much of the landscaping, and they are in the process of switching to rock. North Park needs some sod in the area north of the gym. Grutsch said he would like to replace two tractors and trade them for a multi-purpose mower. This device can mow, blow snow and sweep, so it can be used year round. This summer Emerson will be painted, so summer school will be moved to West Park. Items done this year include helping the Boy Scouts landscape around the Cassette House and working with the A+ program to do landscaping around the high school. Grutsch said this summer they also plan on fixing the goal post at the high school practice field because it keeps turning. The board expressed some concern about the concrete at middle school. The worse area is east of the cafeteria. He said the bad areas are painted yellow and a cone is placed over one part. Superintendent Dr. Troy Loeffelholz said if the plans for this facility are for a preschool, the sidewalk will need to fixed. Dr. Loeffelholz said the maintenance crew has done a good job at trying to do this type of work internally. Grutsch said on the east property, the old barn was torn down. They will pick up close to three more acres that can be used for farmland. Transportation Coordinator Dawn Olson said there are seven route drivers and six activity drivers. Olson said she oversees the drivers and routes as well as lines up drivers for activities, and Bill Tworek oversees the maintenance of the buses, and he is driving one route. She said she is finding good activity drivers. Olson said the hardest part of her job is being over other people and keeping them busy when they are not driving routes. She said she will be getting together with administration this summer to see what the drivers could do in their down time. On May 26, busing will start for summer school and in June for the autism program. In July, summer school will need busing. Olson said she will get the big Discoverer bus fixed this summer as well as clean up the bus barn. Executive Director of Business/Human Relations Dave Melick said Olson has done a nice job of organizing the job, standardizing the dress code and conducting the bus drills. Olson and Tworek have made an excellent team, and the buses and suburbans have never been cleaner. Executive Director of Special Education/Student Service Jason Harris said there were 103 kids bused. Some of the board members asked about seatbelts. Olson said the special education bus has seatbelts for all seats, but the activity buses and large buses only have a few. Adding seatbelts to a new bus will increase the price by $20,000 to $25,000. Olson said she would like a bus in between the size of the special education bus and activity bus. She said for smaller groups at the high school the special education bus is used, but it is a little tight for high school students.
III.C. Executive Session
Discussion:  The board left executive session at 6:50 with no action taken.
IV. Dinner at ESU7/Student Center - No business will be discussed.
V. Call to order - Board Meeting
VI. Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call
VII. Open Meeting Notice of Posted Law
VII.A. President insures that all can hear the proceedings
VIII. Mission Statement
Discussion:  Theresa Seipel read the mission statement.
IX. Opportunity for Public to be Heard
Discussion:  No one spoke to the board.
X. Recognitions
X.A. 2015 Educator of the Year Award – Introduction of Nominees
Discussion:  Executive Director of the CPS Foundation Landon Wietfeld said nominations were accepted from CPS staff, parents, school supporting organizations and the general public. The Educator of the Year will receive $1,000 and the runner-up $500 thanks to the Columbus United Federal Credit Union. The winner will be announced at the Employee Recognition Banquet on May 1. The finalists are: Kim Ek, Marc Baue, Peggy Meyer, Fred Ritter and Adam Whitemore.
X.B. 2015 Operations Employee of the Year Award – Introduction of Nominees
Discussion:  Wietfeld said nominations were accepted from CPS staff, parents, school supporting organizations and the general public. The winner will receive $500 thanks to Bob Markham (CHS Class of 1976) and his wife, Chris. The winner will be announced at the Employee Recognition Banquet on May 1. This year the finalists are: Lorena Breuer, Bonnie Keller and Doug Zoucha.
X.C. Paige Stadler and Stephanie Sparling – Participation as members of a national honor choir sponsored by the American Choral Directors Association
Discussion:  Paige Stadler and Stephanie Sparling were recognized for being selected for the national honor choir in Salt Lake City, Utah. The event was sponsored by the American Choral Directors Association. The girls were chosen from more approximately 3,000 students who auditioned. CHS Vocal Music Director Fred Ritter said this is the first time he has had any students try for the national choir. Stadler was chosen as one of two soloists for the final number that the choir performed. The girls also had the opportunity to sing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
X.D. New World Singers - 1st place in the Northeast show and Jazz Choir Festival
Discussion:  The New World Singers were recognized for earning first place at the Northeast Show and Jazz Choir Festival in Norfolk. There were 12 Class A show and jazz choirs.
X.E. Destination Imagination Global Finals Team
Discussion:  Three CPS Destination Imagination teams advanced to Global Finals, which will be held in May in Knoxville, TN. There were two elementary teams and one high school team. The Columbus Elementary HAL team of Brooke Wickens, Brian Alvardo, Colby Salak, Kelyn Garrelts and Brenden Sloup had to design and build a structure that will be tested against two forces at the same time. Amairani Parra, Katie Schwebach, Nick Warren, Maria Gonzalez, Ann Smedley, Alma Franco-Sagastume had to identify a community need, design and carry out a project to address the real community need. The Columbus Elementary HAL team of Ben Gascon, Liam Blaser, Alyvia Williams, Diana Luna-Spindola and Ryan Laudenklos used a variety of technical methods.
XI. Presentations:
XI.A. School/Business Partnership
Discussion:  Dee Hanson with Drive for Five shared the annual report with the board. Hanson told the board all the programs are ones they have seen before. Bank in the Schools is one of the oldest programs, and she recently met with principals to see how to build the program and improve it. The goal is to try to bring in people from industry to talk or work with students. Dr. Loeffelholz said the Chamber has been very supportive of district’s STEM program. Board member Alan Dostal agreed.
XI.B. DLR/Hausmann Construction
Discussion:  Curtis Johnson from DLR said there are a lot of things going on behind the scenes at the construction site. He said right now the project is close to $1.3 million under budget. Dr. Loeffelholz said the administration is currently going over the HVAC bids to make sure everything that was requested is in the bid. Johnson said there is a lot of local participation in the bids. The crew is currently working on the interior footings and then will move to the auditorium footings. The steel will be arriving shortly. The precast should arrive around May.
XII. Items removed from Consent Agenda
XIII. Consent Agenda
XIII.A. Item removed from consent agenda
XIII.B. Approval of minutes for the meetings of the March 9, 2015, and March 16, 2015
XIII.C. Certified Personnel Action
XIII.D. Classified Personnel Action
XIII.E. Tentative Graduate List
XIII.F. Professional Travel Report
XIV. Financial Reports - 2,3,4a
Discussion:  Melick said the district is about 58 percent of the way through the school year.
XV. Financial Report 4b.
Discussion:  Melick said the bill was for work on a van.
XVI. Special Administrative Functions
XVI.A. Columbus Middle School 2015-2016 Course Descriptions
Discussion:  CMS Principal Amy Haynes said there were very few changes. She said they found there were not enough exploratory classes because there was only one art teacher, so they added speech. She said now all students will take literature concepts. The name GPS (Guided Practical Skills) was changed to Reading Essential because the class focuses on reading skills. During this time, the counselors are also teaching college and career readiness.
XVI.B. Proposed 2015-16 OT/PT Contract
Discussion:  Harris said there is a list provided by NDE that will tell the district the maximum amount it will be reimbursed, and that amount is $61 per hour and mileage can be claimed. He said school districts can be reimbursed up to $61 per hour, but if the cost for OT/PT is more, the additional cost will have to come out of the general fund budget. He said the district does contract out for OT/PT services. The district is currently using Grand Island Physical Therapy. Harris said the person who does PT for Grand Island Physical Therapy lives in Columbus. Last school year $110, 793 was spent on OT/PT services for kids birth to 21 in both the public and non public school.
XVI.C. Summer Maintenance List
XVI.D. Acceptance of Gifts/Donations
XVI.E. High School STEM Curriculum
Discussion:  The STEM teachers have been meeting all year long writing curriculum with a focus on STEM. Dostal said if planning for the future, there needs to be something on electric drive transportation. Dr. Loeffelholz said this curriculum can't be something created today and then set on a shelf. He said it has to turn over to meet the changing needs. Dr. Loeffelholz said the middle school is doing a good job of getting students interested in STEM. He said the program is gaining speed. The cost for the changes in the electronics and engineering program is $42,688, and for transportation $2,000 a year for five years. There currently is no cost associated with construction.
XVI.F. Discoverer 4th Subdivision Water, Sanitary Sewer, Storm Sewer and Paving
Discussion:  The bid for Obrist was $107,132 and Gehring Construction and Ready Mix $535,950.49 for a total of $643,082.49. The Discoverer Street will run from 38 Ave. all through the property to across the street at 40th St. Obrist should be done with their part by July 27 and the paving will start around the same time but won’t be completed until October 15. There are penalties if the project is not completed on time
XVI.G. Superintendent’s Contract, Salary and Benefit Package
Discussion:  Melick said a year ago the Superintendent Transparency Act passed and now district must publish a financial summary and the entire superintendent’s contract. He said this information has been on the district website since last Thursday. Melick said the 3.90% is the total package increase and is comparable to what other districts are offering. Ken Curry said he is very pleased Dr. Loeffelholz is in Columbus. Alan Dostal said he appreciates all Dr. Loeffelholz has done with getting the bond for the new high school passed and other things. Theresa Seipel said Dr. Loeffelholz is very hands on and knows all the details. Dostal said through the whole process he has never lost site of the district’s true mission, educating kids. Candy Becher agreed. She said she was surprised at how much he does in a week. Francis Kuehler said Dr. Loeffelholz listens to input from staff and lot of superintendent would not do this when it comes to building a new facility. Becher said the community needs to be aware of all that Dr. Loeffelholz does outside of Columbus. Curry said the individual is only has good as the team, and Dr. Loeffelholz has a great team. Mike Goos said the school district is very fortunate to have Dr. Loeffelholz who has integrity and energy for everything he does. Dr. Loeffelholz said he wouldn’t be able to do this without a strong team. He said he must have the right people in the right seat on the bus and fortunately he does. Dr. Loeffelholz said the building principals do a fantastic job, and he is humbled and loves what he does.
XVI.H. Approval of New Positions based on enrollment and the Strategic Plan for student needs.
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said the administration has been working hard on the strategic plan. These are the positions that came up as needs for the district. He said the budget was built on students’ need instead of just giving money for programs. Over the years, Dr. Loeffelholz said staff has been reduced by 20 to 25 people since when he started. The elementary position is needed because of the high number of students. The high school position has not yet been determined but will be in the highest needs area. The ELL position needs to be increased because of the enrollment. The coordinator position will be needed to accomplish everything for the STEM area. Dr. Loeffelholz said the elementary counselor/school psychologist will be a joint position.
XVI.I. Lease Agreement with Boys Town
Discussion:  Dr. Loeffelholz said this time when approached, Boys Town expressed an interest in a purchase option. The purchase price will be $147,600. Curry expressed some concern that Boys Town might increase the amount it charges CPS for services. Harris said this is not likely because several other district use Boys Town and the rates must be approved.
XVII. Superintendent's Report
Discussion:  CPS has been a Chamber member for 90 years. The architect met with all middle school staff last Monday to talk about needs and ideas for the middle school. He said most of the things requested were very minimal changes. Jordon Anderson and Dr. Loeffelholz went to a STEM Conference in Cleveland. Dr. Loeffelholz said Dan Keiter and Melick are doing a good job of watching the claims to make sure the expenses for the new high school are legitimate. Dr. Loeffelholz said there was a good turnout for the Mark Brown golf benefit. The Mission and Vision statements will be approved in June. The Employee Banquet is scheduled for May 1 at the American Legion with the social starting at 6:30 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m. Dr. Loeffelholz said there is some Discoverer attire available to order if the board is interested. He also thanked the board for all the nice comments.
XVII.A. CPS Employee Banquet – May 1, 2015
XVIII. Board Sharing
Discussion:  Theresa Seipel said she enjoyed going to the construction site. She said Dr. Loeffelholz has a good vision of everything that is going on. The maintenance people are also doing a good job. Seipel said it is a great time to be on the board. Alan Dostal said it was great to see all the neat things students are doing. He said the Spanish students also recently did well in a competition in Lincoln. He said he is enjoying watching the building being constructed. Ken Curry said Post Prom was an awesome event, and the high school janitorial staff worked very hard that night. He asked Dr. Loeffelholz to look into why CPS won’t let TeamMates use a bus to go to the spring game in Lincoln. Candy Becher said she was overwhelmed by the talent of our kids. She said from DI to chorus it is a great to see all the work being done. She said she was also surprised that the construction budget was $1.3 million under budget right now. Francis Kuehler said he was surprised to find out the construction project was two weeks behind. He said he thought there was a lot of work going on out there. Mike Goos said the board is a part of a very special group and he is honored to be a part of it. Goos said a lot of people will look at CPS as a leader in education.
XIX. Executive Session
Discussion:  The board did not go into Executive Session.
XX. Adjourn
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